• RLIM, Japan


In the part one of these series, we brought out his untold confessions where he indicated his idea of unfairness in salvation in relation to eternal salvation. In part two we also brought out his doctrinal confusion of the difference between salvation and spiritual growth. In this part three we shall look at some of his doctrinal confusion which involves some scriptures he believes supports the belief that a saved man can lose his salvation.

It is emphatically stated in Ephesians 2: 8- 9 that,

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (KJV).

This means that getting saved and remaining saved is by grace through faith in Christ. it does not depend on your morality or good deeds or works. It is only by faith.

It is also stated in the book of Jude 24 that,

“Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,”

This means that the person responsible for keeping us saved is not the saved but the saviour who is Christ Jesus. But he quickly referred me to James 2: 24 and verse 26. Which says that,

“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only…For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

To him, what this scripture is saying is that if you are saved by faith and you don’t show it by your good works, your faith is dead and for that matter your salvation will die, or you will lose your salvation. By this interpretation he believes that a person can lose his salvation.

First of all, we must understand that there is no contradiction in the bible. The bible cannot say at one place (Ephesians) that Salvation is by faith without works and at another place (James) contradict itself by saying, Salvation is by faith with works. This contradiction can only happen when we wrongly interpret the scriptures to suit our own prejudices.

One major rule in bible hermeneutics or interpretation is interpreting scriptures in context. It is a great error to pick text out of context to make it agree with what you already have in mind or make the scripture say what it never said. The context of Ephesians 2:8-9 is far different from the context of James 2:24.

Let us consider Ephesians 2 from verses 4 to 10,

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (KJV).

Let us also consider James 2 from verses 14 to 25,

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

From the above contexts, the difference is clear. In Ephesians, it was discussing salvation in relation to the love of God expressed through the death and resurrection of Christ for our salvation. Paul was saying that this was the work of Christ and it is received by faith.

However, in James 2, he was discussing love among brethren and meeting the needs of brethren. The faith in the context of James is not salvation but the faith of wishing brethren well. The works in that context are our activities of love towards the brethren. James was saying that if a brother is in need and you just wish him well and you do nothing about his needs, your good wish is nothing. He is telling us to proof our love or good wish by doing something to help the brethren in need (works).

It is therefore an error to use the context of faith and works in the book of James to explain salvation. There are no contradictions in the scriptures.

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